Shearer identifies three Liverpool issues in ‘devastating’ blow for Jurgen Klopp farewell title

Jason Soutar
Alan Shearer thinks title pressure might have got to Liverpool and Arsenal
Alan Shearer thinks title pressure might have got to Liverpool and Arsenal

Alan Shearer has suggested that Sunday’s shock results show that the pressure is getting to Premier League title challengers Arsenal and Liverpool.

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa a couple of hours after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, with both teams dropping crucial points in home matches.

Alan Shearer: ‘Nerves’ got to Liverpool, Arsenal on Sunday

Mikel Arteta’s men crumbled at this point last season but look a lot stronger defensively and mentally, and having learned from their downfall in 2023, they will surely finish 2023/24 strongly.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have only lost three times all campaign but so many of their wins have come from behind or been courtesy of late goals.

Jurgen Klopp’s mentality monsters will surely not be feeling the pressure of the title race having been near-perfect in the run-in before, but Newcastle United legend Shearer thinks that could be the case for the Reds and Gunners, with Manchester City now two points clear of both.

“As we saw at Anfield and Emirates Stadium on Sunday, pressure does funny things at this stage of the season – even to the best players and teams,” Shearer wrote in his BBC column.

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“No-one expected Liverpool and Arsenal to end up both being beaten this weekend, but I’ve been in their situation myself and this is what happens in a title run-in, especially in must-win games at home. If you don’t score early, everyone gets very nervy.

“So, I know it will have felt exactly the same for the Gunners, who were desperate to make the breakthrough against Aston Villa, as it did for Jurgen Klopp’s side when they were left chasing their game after Crystal Palace went ahead.”

📢 Straight to the comments! Is it a case of the pressure being too much for Liverpool and Arsenal?

Shearer added that it has been “a terrible week” for Liverpool, who backed up a dismal 3-0 Europa League defeat to Atalanta with another Anfield loss at the hands of Crystal Palace.

“When you get to the final part of the season one bad week can undo months of hard work – and Liverpool have just had a terrible week,” he continued.

“I actually thought that their defensive performances have been a real strong point for them for large parts of this campaign, even though Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have missed long spells of it through injury.

“So, the last few days have been a big surprise in terms of how easily and how often they have been opened up, firstly by Atalanta in the Europa League and then by Palace.

“They were misfiring in attack on Sunday too. Liverpool have fought back from losing positions to earn 27 points this season, but it was probably after they had missed their third sitter on Sunday that I started to think it was going to be one of those days for them where nothing goes in.

“But, while it’s true that Liverpool missed some big chances, so did the Eagles. Jurgen Klopp’s side were very open and I don’t think they can complain about the result, even if it is a pretty devastating one for their title hopes.”

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